Do more, for more. This was the mandate from our Board of Directors in 2020 — increase WQW’s impact on the needs of post-9/11 Combat Veterans. With your support, we did just that in 2022. It was our most productive and impactful year yet. Not only did we deliver more Warrior programs and serve more participants in a single year than ever before, but we also accomplished the hard work needed to position WQW for even more impact in 2023.
We delivered 30 weeks of veteran and military family programming —a 157 percent increase in programs since 2019. We provided 256 participant experiences – 185 percent more participant experiences than in 2019. We also launched two new, high-impact program models – Hunt for Purpose (HFP) and the Backcountry Fishing Experience. A fitting example of the impact of these programs is captured in the following testimonial from the spouse of one of our HFP participants:
I was afraid of this past year. I didn’t know what my husband needed, but I knew my love and care wouldn’t be enough for the path ahead…It was a year of uncertainty, where his identity and purpose in life would be pulled out under his feet. I didn’t know what he needed…Hunt For Purpose was an answer to prayer. He was guided through a journey of self-identification, where he found his purpose and identity outside of the Army. He was not alone; he went through this journey with other brothers by his side…Instead of surviving, he was thriving. I can’t thank the team at WQW enough…It has drastically changed my husband’s life and our family’s life.
In 2021 we crafted a vision for future programming that moves Warriors beyond healing to thriving. Throughout 2022, we conducted the research, consulted with the experts, and designed the framework of a new program model designed to accomplish that vision. Then we did the hard work to fill the framework with the resources, plans, content, and activities to deliver a one-of-a-kind program that will become our flagship program in 2023: Built for More.
Completely free to participants, Built for More merges the power of peak experiences in nature, the support of comrades, and the expertise of a proprietary personal growth process to guide veterans to their own definition of thriving. Over two transformative Fishing Experiences and a few months in evidence-based online content, veterans build a thriving life of their own design from the ground up. Uplifted by their small cohort of fellow Warriors and led by expert input, veterans systematically dismantle the things holding them back and develop new strengths to move themselves forward. Our first cohort of Warriors will begin the Built for More program in May 2023.
As always, the committed support of our donors, corporate sponsors, foundation partners, and volunteers made this all possible. Their support enabled WQW to raise the funds required to meet our yearly operating expenses. We are filled with gratitude for that support.
Colonel, USMC (Ret.), Chief Executive Officer
Board Chair, Board of Directors
US Army Veteran
Immediate Past Chair
Col, USMC (Ret.)
Gen, USMC (Ret)
US Navy Veteran
US Navy Veteran
Boardroom Bobcat (2021-2022)
Boardroom Bobcat (2022-2023)
Col, USMC (Ret.)
US Navy Veteran
US Navy Veteran
Chief Executive Officer
Col, USMC (Ret)
Chief Operating Officer
LtCol, USMC (Ret)
Chief Program Officer
SGT, U.S. Army (Ret)
Chief Program and Strategy Officer
MGySgt, USMC (Ret)
Chief Development Officer
Director of Program Operations
Alumni Engagement Manager
Fishing Operations Manager
Corporate & Foundations Relations Manager
Caretaker of Quiet Waters Ranch
Development & Event Associate
Annual Fund Manager
Spring Marketing Intern
Summer and Fall Marketing Intern
WQW is a wonderful group of individuals in the Gallatin Valley. I have volunteered several times for the foundation and every time makes me proud to be a part of something bigger. Being a Veteran myself I have never gone through the program, but seeing the effort and attention to detail they put into everything they do, I know it’s an amazing program. The last event I helped with was the Taste Fest. It was moving to see so many people out to support the Veteran community and WQW. I recommend volunteering for WQW so you can experience the love and support they have for veterans and their families.- WQW Volunteer
WQW partners with the Evaluation and Capacity Building team at the D’Aniello Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University to help measure and communicate the impact of our programs. Below is a summary of our findings from our 2022 program season which demonstrates that for Warriors who participate in WQW, significant impact is felt across multiple outcomes related to well-being, nature, and relationships. Although the most dramatic effects are evident immediately following FX participation, the data indicates that some effects are sustained following participation.
There was a 3.7x reduction in feeling nervous and stressed, with 44% of First- Time Warriors reporting after attending WQW that that they never or almost never felt nervous and stressed, compared to 12% before attending WQW.
There was a 2x improvement in sleep, with 54% of First-Time Warriors reporting after attending WQW that they very often or fairly often had a good night’s sleep, compared to 18% before attending WQW.
There was a 1.6x improvement in calmness, with 47% of First-Time Warriors reporting after attending WQW that they were never or almost never angered because something was out of their control, compared to 18% before attending WQW.
There was a 2x improvement in problem solving, with 27% of First-Time Warriors reporting after attending WQW that they very often felt confident about their ability to handle their personal problems, compared to 13% before attending WQW.
There was an 1.9x improvement in clarity about what a meaningful life is for them, with 55% of First-Time Warriors reporting after attending WQW that they strongly agree they continue to gain clarity about what a meaningful life is for them, compared to 30% before attending WQW.
There was a 1.8x improvement in sense of purpose, with 55% of First-Time Warriors reporting, after attending WQW, that they strongly agree that their sense of purpose continues to grow, compared to 30% before attending WQW.
There was a 1.6x improvement in feeling nature helps them think clearly, with 90% of First-Time Warriors reporting after attending WQW that that they feel represented extremely well by the statement, “Nature creates a space where it is easier for me to think clearly,” compared to 55% before attending WQW.
Year two of the evaluation project allowed the IVMF to compare results from participants’ earliest Pre-FX Survey to their 2022 Annual Survey results. In this analysis, the IVMF compared a participant’s 2022 Annual Survey response to their first recorded Pre-FX Survey, either from 2021 or 2022.
Across four of the five stress indicator questions, the IVMF found that participants felt less isolated, angry, nervous, and stressed, and were sleeping better. This result suggests that outcomes in these areas persist past immediate program participation, and that participants may be forming stronger relationships when they return home after program participation.
There was a 1.5x improvement in sleep, with 33% of participants reporting after attending WQW that they very often or fairly often had a good night’s sleep, compared to 21% before attending WQW.
There was a 2.5x reduction in feeling nervous and stressed, with 27% of participants reporting before attending WQW that they very often felt nervous and stressed, compared to 8% after attending WQW.
There was a 6x decrease in feeling angered, with 16% of participants reporting before attending WQW that they were very often angered because something was out of their control, compared to after attending WQW.
Participants were half as likely to feel isolated, with 16% reporting before attending WQW that they very often felt isolated, compared to 8% after attending WQW.
When I showed up at the WQW Ranch everyone made me feel loved and welcome. Above all, I felt safe and relaxed. Being able to achieve that feeling outside of my own home was a huge relief and allowed me to truly enjoy the other Veterans and the amazing fly-fishing opportunity. All of the Moms, Guides, Companions, and Team Leaders were phenomenal people. Their care and compassion for me was amazing. Thank you WQW for providing me with a great experience and making everything seem less stressful. I am retiring with a new zeal for my everyday life and fond memories and new friendships!- Stephen Bozovich
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I came away from the trip with new friends, skills, and completely re-energized. Everyone we interacted with (staff and volunteers) were so kind and invested in making sure our group had everything we needed (and more!). From the Team Leaders, to the Mom's, to the Guides...it could not have been better!- Jessica Sheridan
WQW entered 2022 with a detailed plan for growth – laser focused on positioning our program to increase its impact upon Warriors served. The 2022 budget was built to resource this growth – made possible by everyone who so generously invested in WQW’s mission.
Of 2022 Revenue, $140,000 was directed to the permanently restricted, program-focused Henry H. and Marion S. Uihlein Warrior Endowment. A portion of the $540,000 in new pledges was received in 2022. The remaining balance on these pledges will be paid over a series of years .
Now, more than two decades after 9/11, it’s more important than ever to enable veterans to find peace, meaning, and purpose after their military service. Your support makes this possible.
Figures are unaudited at the time of this publication’s printing. Numbers are rounded to the hundredth. If you would like more details on our financials, please contact the WQW office.
Direct Program Expenses
Core Mission Support (Development and Donor Engagement)
Core Mission Support (Finance, Human Resources, Administration)
Warriors & Quiet Waters carries an opportunity to their participants in a way that can create a lifelong impact. I feel grateful to fuel their time in the outdoors as they discover what so many of us have found and love out there — healing, a quiet mind, and inspiration.- Shannon Waters
Founder of Gastro Gnome Meals, Donor